How to Solve Performance Issues

In your career as a leader, you are dealing with peoples’ perceptions getting in the way of performance.  The challenge is that those perceptions are different for different people.  When people excel in their job, their perceptions are different from those whose perceptions are sabotaging their performance. When you try to deal with performance by dealing with behavior, you aren’t getting to the root of the problem!

For example – as a direct report to someone, my perception could be that my manager’s job is to be critical of what I am doing, to catch me doing something wrong, to criticize me and ultimately maybe even to fire me.  Imagine how your direct report would respond to you as manager when the pressure is on and the workload increases and you are in “crunch time”.  It raises the fear factor and further impedes performance and ultimately leads to strained workplace relationships, mistrust, internal conflict, finger-pointing, absenteeism, etc.

What is the answer?

  1. Create a safe environment.
  2. Uncover the expectations or fears that the direct report has.
  3. Understand the perception that this fear has created
  4. Deal with the underlying beliefs that keep this perception in place.
  5. Help the direct report to create a different perception that will contribute to the performance that will be rewarded in the organization.

Here are some tools that can accomplish that:

  1. An employee survey or 360 feedback mechanism.
  2. A personal assessment that gets to the heart of the habits of thinking, and the perceptions that keep this behavior in place.
  3. Taking on a coaching approach to managing people, i.e. working with your direct reports to help them come up with new strategies for successful performance.
  4. Looking at your own perceptions to see how these may be impacting your performance as a manager.

To explore more about these concepts of perceptions and performance, I suggest you look at these books: The Three Laws of Performance and Quiet Leadership.

If you would like to talk about how this assessment process could be implemented in your organization or if you would like to understand your own perceptions as a starting point, please contact me for a complimentary consultation:

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